How to Sew your Skinny Jeans

One of the great surprises of starting a blog is seeing which posts become popular. I wrote previously about how I fold my skinny jeans, and this has become by far the most popularly viewed single post of Hipster House Husband.

Why?” you ask? Yeah, I’ve asked myself that question a lot. The best answer that I can come up with is that people see the way hipsters cuff or roll the bottom of their jeans, and they want to learn how to do that. Now, I don’t mean to sound too stereotypically hipster, but for the record, I’ve been cuffing my jeans for the past 15 years. That’s right: before it was cool. For the life of me, I don’t know why you’d have to do a google search (or bing, if you’re that kind of hipster) just to find out how to fold the bottom of your jeans.

I was reflecting on such ponderances last night as I spent some time repairing a tear in one of my favorite pairs of jeans. My wife has been telling me for weeks that I need to stop wearing these jeans since there is a big tear in the butt area, but while I’m standing no one can see it. I didn’t want to have to buy new jeans just because of a little extra ventilation. Eventually this tear became big enough to demand my attention, which brings me to last night. In between loads of laundry I pulled out my wife’s sewing kit. One thing about being married to a highly trained ballet dancer: you always have a needle and thread laying around. You just have to dig through the pointe shoe elastics.

20130717-134949.jpg

 

My sewing skills are far from world class, but I’d rather add an ugly seam in an unseen area than throw away an otherwise perfectly good pair of pants. After I frankensteined the tears back together, I threw them into the wash. They came out of the wash just fine, and after following my particular folding method, they were ready to go back into the rotation.

20130717-135807.jpg

As a matter of fact, I’m wearing them right now.

 

Advertisements

Saving Basil Seeds

Are you curious if one of your odd activities can be considered hipster? Run it through this simple “yes or no” test by answering the question, “Was this activity a common/necessary part of life 100 years ago, but incredibly uncommon/unnecessary today?” If you answered yes to this question, then chances are you’re doing something a hipster would do. By that test, the practice of seed saving can be considered as hipster as “using a victrola” or “shaving with a straight razor” or “not showering.”

Seed saving is a great way to make you look like you know what you’re talking about, develop high-yielding plants that are better acclimated for your specific climate, and takes months longer and incredibly more effort than buying a packet of seeds for 89 cents at the grocery store. This is something I do to help exercise my frugality at the same time that I keep in touch with my industrious side. It’s something that takes little time during the harvest season of gardening, and gives you something to do in the off-season of winter. Different vegetable seeds go through different processes to harvest, but the other night I harvested a bunch of basil seeds and took some pictures of the way I did it. I always get confused as to whether or not Instagram is cool anymore for hipsters to use, so I’ll show them to you here instead.

Bag BasilAt the end of the growing season, I clipped all these seed heads from our basil crop and threw them into paper bags to allow them to dry out. The seed head on basil is the tall shoot above the edible leaves, and it flowers. Once the flowers begin to die,  clip that seed head off and save it for winter.

The paper bag is a magical place that will allow this harvest to dry out without getting moldy. Store this paper bag in a dry place for a few months.

Hanging BasilAn alternative to the paper bag method of drying is to hang your seed heads in a very visible window.  This method is much less efficient than the paper bag, but often preferred by the hipster that wants to show people that he/she is doing something that confuses ordinary people.

Separate the seeds from the chaff

Once they are thoroughly dry (I harvested in October so they have been in the paper bag for a few months), crush the seed heads between your fingers in a well-contained area. I simply reached into the bag and kept everything nice and tidy that way. Then I pour the crushings into a pie tin and separated out the seeds with a slight rocking motion that allowed the heavier seeds to fall to one side while leaving the chaff at the top. In this picture you can see the basil seeds as the larger black bits in the tin.

Seed packets!

After you get your seeds pretty well separated, put them away until it’s time to start your garden (don’t spend all winter trying to separate the seeds 100% from the chaff of the seed heads. It won’t hurt anything if it’s all in there together). For storing the saved seeds, I either make smaller envelopes by cutting and taping regular-sized envelopes envelopes, or I’ll repurpose an empty spice jar. In this case I opted for the little envelopes, and I always try to date my seeds as a good habit.

There you have it. Seed saving is probably one of the more useful things that hipsters can do, and as a house husband, it helps our little clan to have fresh herbs and vegetables during the growing season. Be daring; be hipster; be resourceful: save those seeds.